British man appears in court on suspicion of Italy murder

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Michael Whitbread was arrested in Shepshed on Wednesday, police said

A man has appeared in court for extradition proceedings after being arrested on suspicion of murdering a woman in Italy.

Michele Faiers, 66, was found dead at her home near the Italian town of Casoli on Wednesday.

Michael Whitbread was arrested in Shepshed, Leicestershire, later that day.

The 74-year-old appeared at a hearing on Saturday that was arranged as part of the extradition process.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard Mr Whitbread was asked if he consented to be extradited to Italy, where he now lives.

He said he did not, and was ordered to appear in custody at a preliminary hearing at the same court on Thursday.

The court was told the retired driving instructor and shop owner is in England visiting relatives and has a travel ticket to return to Italy.

District judge John Zani said "this is an accusation", and Mr Whitbread had not been convicted of anything.

Addressing Mr Whitbread, he said: "The Italian authorities wish you to return to face trial there because it is a very serious allegation.

"In the event you are convicted, a very lengthy sentence of imprisonment would almost be inevitable.

"I cannot ignore the fact that your visit here happened soon after the allegation of murder happened but a few days ago."

The judge said the court was "working towards a full hearing" at the same venue on 26 February next year.

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